Nonlinear Theoretical Tools for Fusion-related Microturbulence: Historical Evolution, and Recent Applications to Stochastic Magnetic Fields, Zonal-flow Dynamics, and Intermittency

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Fusion physics poses an extremely challenging, practically complex problem that does not yield readily to simple paradigms. Nevertheless, various of the theoretical tools and conceptual advances emphasized at the KaufmanFest 2007 have motivated and/or found application to the development of fusion-related plasma turbulence theory. A brief historical commentary is given on some aspects of that specialty, with emphasis on the role (and limitations) of Hamiltonian/symplectic approaches, variational methods, oscillation-center theory, and nonlinear dynamics. It is shown how to extract a renormalized ponderomotive force from the statistical equations of plasma turbulence, and the possibility of a renormalized K-χ theorem is discussed. ... continued below

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05/19/2009

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Krommes, J.A. May 19, 2009.

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Description

Fusion physics poses an extremely challenging, practically complex problem that does not yield readily to simple paradigms. Nevertheless, various of the theoretical tools and conceptual advances emphasized at the KaufmanFest 2007 have motivated and/or found application to the development of fusion-related plasma turbulence theory. A brief historical commentary is given on some aspects of that specialty, with emphasis on the role (and limitations) of Hamiltonian/symplectic approaches, variational methods, oscillation-center theory, and nonlinear dynamics. It is shown how to extract a renormalized ponderomotive force from the statistical equations of plasma turbulence, and the possibility of a renormalized K-χ theorem is discussed. An unusual application of quasilinear theory to the problem of plasma equilibria in the presence of stochastic magnetic fields is described. The modern problem of zonal-flow dynamics illustrates a confluence of several techniques, including (i) the application of nonlinear-dynamics methods, especially center-manifold theory, to the problem of the transition to plasma turbulence in the face of self-generated zonal flows; and (ii) the use of Hamiltonian formalism to determine the appropriate (Casimir) invariant to be used in a novel wave-kinetic analysis of systems of interacting zonal flows and drift waves. Recent progress in the theory of intermittent chaotic statistics and the generation of coherent structures from turbulence is mentioned, and an appeal is made for some new tools to cope with these interesting and difficult problems in nonlinear plasma physics. Finally, the important influence of the intellectually stimulating research environment fostered by Prof. Allan Kaufman on the author's thinking and teaching methodology is described.

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05/19/2009

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  • Report No.: PPPL-4408
  • Grant Number: DE-ACO2-09CH11466
  • DOI: 10.2172/953214 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 953214
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc931211

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  • May 19, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 13, 2016, 12:11 p.m.

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Krommes, J.A. Nonlinear Theoretical Tools for Fusion-related Microturbulence: Historical Evolution, and Recent Applications to Stochastic Magnetic Fields, Zonal-flow Dynamics, and Intermittency, report, May 19, 2009; Princeton, New Jersey. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc931211/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.